Today Barry and I left the hospital again for the afternoon. We wandered around the Leaside area (Bayview Ave.), in and out of quaint little shops and stopped for coffee when I needed a break. I'm finding it way more difficult to walk outside then here at the hospital. That is the reason these outside ventures are so important. It is mentally exhausting as well as physically, because you have to be so aware of other people. One little bump or nudge and I would be down right now. And falling is not an option. Falling after a spinal fusion can cause so much damage. I am not going to fall. I would not be able to have these outings and stay safe without Barry at my side. This is the best therapy I am getting, both physical and emotional, and it's helping me move forward at this very important time in my recovery. Even my therapists have said that there is only so much they can do and that getting out into the world - safely - is a necessary step.
We've reached our breaking point at Bridgepoint; it is time to leave. My patience is wearing very thin and I'm losing my pleasing personality. That's just a nice way of saying I'm becoming very cranky.
It has been 21 days in this rehab hospital. I was told I would have a primary care nurse. I have had 21 different nurses at least. Each day I have to tell them my story, what I am capable of, what is needed from them, etc. etc. It's exhausting and takes my focus away from moving forward, having to go through the past over and over again. Most importantly, I have had to educate each and every nurse about Autonomic Desreflexia, which is complicated and in my opinion, shouldn't have to be explained to nurses who deal with spinal patients.
With continuity comes relationship building, comfort and trust. When it is someone different all the time, mistakes are made, and there isn't a chance to build a relationship.
I have to say any day I have met a student nurse has been a good day. They are eager, caring and compassionate. There are a handful of long term nurses here who have those qualities as well, but I have only gotten one or two shifts with each of them. When we see each other in the hallways they are interested in my progress and encouraging. That can make all the difference.
I asked the nursing manager after a particularly uneasy mix up in medications if I could be excused of meeting anyone new. Fortunately my doctor had gone ahead of me and made the same request. So for the week I have left, they will do their best to assign nurses to me who have already heard my history and know what AD is.
I look forward to the day I see Lake Nipissing again and sleep in my own bed.